2018 Toyota Camry - warped rotors already?

Rear brake rotors warped and had to be ground on a lathe. Serviceman said problem caused by not driving it much and leaving it parked for three weeks with the emergency brake on. It’s a 2018 model with 7,400 miles. Is this plausible?

Nope, total BS, and if I were you, I’d get those resurfaced rotors replaced with new ones.

Sounds like a rust issue, not really warped rotors but the corrective action is the same for either.


More concentrated corrosion (rust) occurred right where the brake pad was sitting. This happens parking brake on OR off. That made that spot harder than the surrounding rotor. When driven, the un-rusted rotor wears a little bit more than the hard-spot and will develop pulsation. This is commonly diagnosed as a warped rotor.

Since this takes miles driven to develop, it is more likely this happened while the car was sitting on the dealer’s lot waiting to be sold. The term used in the brake supplier world is “lot rot.” It tends to cause lots of warranty claims. The pulsation might be fixed but more likely it will come back as it is hard to cut away the corrosion completely but that is what the warranty folks insist you do first.


Thanks for the explanation.

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Thank you. I appreciate your explanation.

As others said, this is BS.
Why not seek a different Toyota dealership during the period of the car’s warranty coverage?

I was speculating, I was hoping that you could explain the condition that you experienced. Were the rotors rusted?

As for the BS, this is from the Toyota storage guidelines bulletin;

“Turn OFF ALL electrical accessories, make sure windows and sunroof are closed, and check that the transmission is in Park (First or Reverse for manual transmission vehicles). Do NOT apply the parking brake.

Are you the one suggesting that the rotors warped or was it the dealer’s diagnosis?

I wouldn’t call the rust spots that caused the brake pulsation “warped rotors,” I guess it’s conceivable that driving the car in that condition could overheat the rotors, or overheat them unevenly and actually cause warping. It really doesn’t make much difference… the symptom and remedy are the same.

Although I would say that the symptoms for warped rotors can be the same or similar to rotors that have substantial rust areas, it’s quite possible it was caused by leaving the brake set for weeks, or that exacerbated the issue.

I leave cars parked for several weeks/months at a time without the brake set (I never use parking brakes). I get the same thing with rust underneath the pads, which are in very close proximity to the rotors, although not set against the rotors as with the parking brake.

Much of this has to do with the climate where the car is, whether it’s inside or out, and if outside, the weather conditions. At my northern location I can see rust on brake rotors in just a few days of parking and not moving a car. When I go home after months away, I expect to find some really nasty brake rotors. It’s possible a couple of the cars won’t move (been there, done that), brakes rusted in place, ha, ha, no kidding.

Edit/Addition/Correction: I tried to find a diagram of the rear brakes/parking brakes on this Camry and if I found it then it appears that the parking brake uses shoes inside a drum integral with the rotors and it’s not the brake pads that are set against the rotors when brakes are set, but rather those little shoes. So, it’s possible that the parking brake did not cause the problem, but rather just rust under the pads based on inactivity, as Mustangman suggested.

For the failure cause on the repair order “warped” can be used for a warranty claim. Rust is damage caused by an outside influence, the claim can be rejected by the manufacture.

What were your specific symptoms?
Did the brake pedal pulsate or cause noise from brakes?
Did the car surge or vibrate?
Did the symptoms occur only during braking or also when not braking?
Other symptoms or additional information?

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Excellent questions. What made you decide to have brake service done at 7,4000 miles?

After leaving the car parked at Newak airport for three weeks I was driving home on I 78. I applied the brakes to slow down and heard a sound like a truck brake retarder. Had to apply several times to make sure it was my brakes (so there was little to no shuddering or sesation on the steering wheel).

The dealership did take care of the problem under the warrantee

I don’t need to use the parking brake to get those rust spots on cars that sit for extended periods. The pads are close enough contact to cause rust to form around them. When it does happen, a few hard braking events (once the rotors are at operating temp) scrubs them off and they’re smooth again. No need to resurface the rotors IMHO…


Thanks for the response